Tigers: Specialist reviewing J.D.'s MRI results

Club won't set timetable yet; Moya among fill-in candidates

Tigers: Specialist reviewing J.D.'s MRI results

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Tigers spent Sunday afternoon awaiting word from a foot specialist on J.D. Martinez, who underwent further testing Sunday on his sprained right foot. They hope to get a clearer idea on how much time he might miss.

Martinez suffered a mid-foot sprain when he pulled out of a slide for a shoestring catch Saturday against the Marlins at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. X-rays taken immediately after the injury showed no structural damage, but Martinez underwent an MRI exam Sunday morning to get a further look.

The Tigers have the initial results, according to manager Brad Ausmus.

"We're waiting for a specialist to look at it, too," Ausmus said after Sunday's 7-1 win over the Orioles. "I'm going to wait until we hear from the specialist."

The Tigers are holding off on any timetable for a potential return until test results come back. With just two weeks until Opening Day, the news could have a major impact on decisions looming up and down their roster.

Slugging outfield prospect Steven Moya, who filled in for Martinez for a stretch while he was out last summer with a fractured right elbow, is out of Minor League options. He has been seen as on the outside looking in on a roster spot with Detroit eyeing a potential center-field platoon of Tyler Collins and Mikie Mahtook, leaving the Tigers to debate whether to try to sneak Moya through waivers or gauge trade interest to bring in depth at other spots.

Moya nabs Trumbo at second

But if Martinez's Opening Day is in question, Moya is a logical fill-in. Moya started Sunday in right field and threw out Mark Trumbo at second base, though Moya and second baseman Dixon Machado had to battle the sun on at least three fly balls in short right field.

In addition to Moya, Alex Presley has quietly enjoyed a solid Spring Training. He homered Saturday after replacing Martinez.

Quick hits

• Martinez isn't the only Tigers outfielder on the mend. Collins was scratched from Sunday's lineup with mid-back tightness. The injury is different from the lat strain that kept Collins out of the outfield mix for two weeks until he could throw again. Collins was scheduled to start Sunday in left field. He's considered day to day.

• Though Ausmus hasn't yet decided on who will hit second in front of Miguel Cabrera when the season begins, he said Nicholas Castellanos "hasn't hurt his cause."

• The Tigers have had discussions on utilityman Omar Infante adding outfield to his duties, but Ausmus reiterated he is not a candidate for the center-field job.

"Right now, we have too many guys working in center," Ausmus said. "To add another guy to the mix who really hasn't played center is a little bit tough. We only have so many games. Quite frankly, it's not going to happen."

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.